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How to Start Bookshop Business in Nigeria



Bookshop Business in Nigeria

No matter what you have heard or the beliefs you have carved in your mind, the bookshop business can also be a lucrative business in Nigeria. It is all about you believing yours will be different and doing something to make that possible. But I believe it should start with your passion first – impacting people’s lives with knowledge first and then making money alongside (my opinion).

Today, in this article, we are going to share with you a few tips on how to start a bookstore business in Nigeria and make money as soon as possible after establishing the business.

Why Start a Bookstore Business in Nigeria?

Below are some points on why you should start a bookshop business in Nigeria.

1. Less Capital Intensive

The bookstore business in Nigeria does not require much capital, yet, it can yield massive returns. It’s just like the puff puff business in Nigeria. You can start the business with even N20,000 and still make your profits. How do you think book hawkers in Nigeria make their money? If they are not making profits they will not be all in your face in garages and bus stops.

But I can tell you the more you invest in the business the more the profits you are likely to make from it. It’s just like any other lucrative business. The choices are yours to choose from.

2. Evergreen Information

Whether we like it or not printed books are still read and cherished in Nigeria – all over the world because of the evergreen content it contains. Some of the contents in printed books remain and will still remain relevant in 10 – 20 years to come.

This typically means that when you go into the bookshop business, any book you buy now will remain relevant on the bookshelf for a long time till someone (a customer) buys it – simply put “no money is lost in the business due to spoilage unlike foods except if rats eat the books or a leaked roof spoils them.

3. Massive Profit Returns

No bookseller will tell you this because many of them are stingy with their information. Many of them know if they tell you how much they really make you too might likely want to go into the business. But the truth still remains the truth that the bookshop business in Nigeria yields returns not just returns but massive returns.

If you invest N250,000 in buying books to resell here in Nigeria it is likely you make 30% – 50% profit depending on how good you are at persuading people to buy and branding. Most of the books you buy from book hawkers in garages or in markets are sold for a price 200% higher than the wholesale price but you wouldn’t know this.

I was devastated when I saw a book I bought in the garage “Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki” for N900 sold at a wholesale bookshop close to my area for N300. This means the seller made N600 profit from me.

4. Popularity or Fame

This method just started to work a few years ago when many bookstore owners started to form book clubs to encourage Nigerian readers and they doing this brought them 2 things in particular – fame and more money. Yes, because the more famous you are as a bookshop owner the more people will want to buy books from you. This is just a Nigerian thing.

It is like you being a dealer in the selling of eggs and heading a campaign in Nigeria for children to eat nutritional foods – killing 2 birds with one stone.

Equipment Needed for Bookstore Business

Here are the major materials or equipment needed to start a bookshop business in Nigeria.

1. Shop/Space

2. Bookshelves

3. Fans or Air conditioners

4. White lights

5. Nylons

6. Tables and chairs

How to Start Bookshop Business in Nigeria

Here are steps on how to start a bookshop business in Nigeria.

1. Get the Required Capital

As we all know it is impossible to go into any business in Nigeria or anywhere without first drawing a budget. A budget basically lets you know what you will be spending and exactly what. Not doing this will make you spend money unnecessarily and worst of all spend the money on the wrong things.

Another thing we must also realize here is that the budget differs. Someone investing N1,000,000 into a bookshop business in Nigeria cannot be compared with another business starter who is investing N250,000. The budget of these two individuals will certainly be different.

Depending on each individual’s desire, the person investing N1,000,000 will want to go into the business large scale while the person investing N250,000 will likely go on a small scale. So the way you draw your budget is certainly up to you.

But I can tell you what materials you will need to start the business whether you are going on a large scale or small scale in Nigeria. Read our guide on how to get funding for your business in Nigeria.

2. Rent a Shop or Space for Business

After drawing your budget based on what you can afford, the next step in starting this business is to go get a space or shop to rent. A space if you cannot afford a shop and a shop if you have big capital. In this crucial step, do not forget that in getting your shop or space you should be in search of shops or spaces in a populated area, streets where hundreds to thousands of people pass every day.

So that more people will be able to visit your bookshop and buy books easily. And also watch out for how many shops or spaces will be going for in these areas – the cost of rent. You do not want a shop or space that will take all your budget. You need to be sensitive as regards this and also make sure you achieve your aim.

Remember you are not paying once for the times you will be using there. You will be paying yearly. You want a shop/space that will be easy for you to pay each time your rent expires.

3. Buy the Materials Needed  

When it comes to buying materials needed for your bookshop or space, there are two factors you need to consider – whether you should go for new materials or tokunbo materials. Your choice on this is determined by how much you have. Whether you go for the new or the tokunbo ones, none of these really matters.

What really matters most is for these materials to satisfy the customers coming to buy books by making them comfortable. Buy these materials and install them in the right places in your bookstore.

4. Register your Bookshop Business

Now is the time to register your business. You need to do this on time because you don’t want CAC to be closing your bookshop when you have started and making plenty of profit from your bookshop. This can run down your bookshop business in one day. The earlier you do this the better for you.

You can get an agent to do this for you. All you have to do is to get all the details of your business and send it to the agent and he or she will run the errands. However, be careful 419’s. Read our article on how to register your business name in Nigeria to be able to register your business yourself.

5. Buying Books for Bookshop

To achieve this and to make maximum profits, I will advise you to buy your books from where even the wholesalers in Nigeria buy their books. This gives you the seller freedom to sell your books at any price and still make massive profits. For example: if the other books stores in your area are selling the books “Think And Grow Rich” at N1,500 per copy.

You can sell the same book for N800 to draw buyers to your bookstore and still make your gains. Buy the books and arrange them neatly in your bookshop. Make your bookshop dry and make sure there is cross ventilation so that the books will not become damp. Also, make sure there are no leaky roofs above your bookshop as one single rainfall can make you lose almost all your books.

6. Advertising your Bookshop 

After getting your books, you should not just sit down and expect a crowd of customers to come in and start buying your books. You need to go all out and get hype (advertise) your bookshop. To do this effortlessly, you should go to schools in your area and tell them the benefits of buying from you.

Maybe because you will be doing deliveries or you will be giving massive discounts. Or you can take the World Literacy Day that schools recognize to sell books to schools. Have an agreement with the school management and tell them that they also have shares if they allow you to sell your books in their school and convince parents to buy.

With this, it’s a win-win for both of you. You make money and the school makes its money too indirectly. Another thing you can also do to draw customers and increase sales whilst you are just starting your bookshop is to go to churches to introduce books to church members. But to start this, you need to see the church executives first to seek permission.

Once you have done this, you can get a stand at the entrance of the church and make your sales every Sunday. Also, do not forget the book club that I mentioned earlier. You can start a book club in your area, this will draw attention to your bookstore business, and from there, customers will start trooping in massively and sales will continue to increase.

7. Keep your Financial Records

I do not necessarily see this as a step to starting a bookshop business in Nigeria because I feel this is a necessary thing every entrepreneur in Nigeria must do when starting a business and making money from it. The benefit of having accounts in your business is unlimited.

From it helping you to get loans from banks when you need them to expand your business to it revealing whether you are running profit or loss on your business. It helps you know how much you have been spending on expenses and how much you can continue to spend. The benefits are truly unlimited.

Bonus Tips

8. Profits in Bookshop Business

How to make more profits from your bookshop business in Nigeria.

A. Diversify your Bookshop Business

Aside from selling books in your bookshop, you can diversify by selling writing and painting utensils. I know a bookshop in Ojuelegba that does this with ease. They sell paintbrushes, paints, cardboard, biros, pens; name it – anything that has to do with writing and drawing and this has helped them draw crowds (loyal customers) to their bookshop.

If you are not buying books from them, you can buy painting materials. Painters, teachers, parents, school owners, and students patronize them and this, in turn, increases their sales and boosts profit. This is an option for you.

B. Become a Book Distributor

Instead of being a retailer, why not be on top of the bookstore business chain? This will also increase your profits massively because, with these, you will be able to sell to other retail bookshops in your area and also sell to people at the same time. Being a distributor has tons of benefits but only a few people and small bookshops know this.

C. Make Use of Black Fridays

Yes, black Friday is not only for malls, bookstores in Nigeria also do it you just do not know. Anytime you see the sign 10% or 20% off in front of a bookshop here in Nigeria, it’s a Black Friday or Black Week for that bookstore. You can also practice this – sell books at discounts to customers for a day or week and still make your profit at the same time.

Those are the 3 major ways you can increase your sales and boost profits in your bookshop.


I hope this article on bookshop business in Nigeria does not just put more understanding into you but also convinces you to start the business against all odds. It’s always going to be extremely hard when it comes to starting businesses in Nigeria so instead of starting next year or the year after next year, why not start this year?

The best time to start your business is now. Do not overthink it as this might discourage you. I sincerely wish you good luck in all your business endeavors. Start and let me know how it goes. Thanks for reading this article. Let me know if I missed any point in the comment section and if there are aspects you want me to explain more to you.

More wealth articles coming on the blog. Watch out if you loved and learned from this article.


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Ralph Bamigboye is an Accountant. He is the owner of TheInfoWorth.com, NetWorthVerse.com and Finance Naija YouTube Channel. He has helped many individuals to start their businesses and make money online. How can he help you?

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